LARGO — A case of grand theft auto turned into an alleged kidnapping on Monday when police said a 23-year-old man stole a pickup truck with a 7-year-old child inside.
The incident took place at a Wawa at 8910 Ulmerton Road at about 9:30 a.m., according to WTSP-Ch. 28. The child was found unharmed about 30 minutes later, and the alleged thief was in custody within hours.
The family was returning home to South Carolina and was gassing up at the Wawa when the child's parents left the truck with the boy inside, according to WTSP-Ch. 28. Then Adam Vachon got in the truck and drove east on Ulmerton Road, according to Largo police.
The boy's father used the grandfather's vehicle to chase after the truck, police said, but couldn't catch up.
Police did not say whether Vachon knew the child was inside the truck. He soon dropped the child off at a Pinellas Park hotel and told him to call his mother, police said.
It took a while longer to find Vachon. The boy's mother used an app to track the GPS in the child's watch, which police said was left in the truck. That led authorities to an apartment building at 1701 Lois Ave. N, where the truck was found with no one inside.
Vachon himself was found sleeping inside an entertainment room in the complex. He returned to Largo Police Department headquarters, police said, admitted to the allegations and was then arrested.
He faces charges of kidnapping and grand theft auto. He was taken to the Pinellas County jail but was not listed in jail records late Monday.
Largo police did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Monday.
Contact Ben Leonard at email@example.com or (727) 893-8421. Follow @Ben___Leonard.